Former Co Chair, Global WomensCaucus , former Counsel, Democrats Abroad France, former Vice Chair, Democrats Abroad France, Voting Representative France, Global Women's Caucus Steering Team, Chair Reproductive Rights Task Force

  • PITY OUR SISTERS WHO LIVE IN OKLAHOMA

    READ THE NEW OKLAHOMA LAW

    1. The terms “abortion” and “unborn child” shall have the same
      meaning as provided by Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma
      Statutes; ...
    2. “Medical emergency” means a condition which cannot be
      remedied by delivery of the child in which an abortion is necessary
      to preserve the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by
      a physical disorder, physical illness or physical injury including a
      life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the
      pregnancy itself.

    B. 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person
    shall not purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion except
    to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.

    2. A person convicted of performing or attempting to perform an
    abortion shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine not to
    exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), or by confinement
    in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term not to
    exceed ten (10) years, or by such fine and imprisonment.

    3. This section does not:

    a. authorize the charging or conviction of a woman with
    any criminal offense in the death of her own unborn
    child, or
    b. prohibit the sale, use, prescription or administration
    of a contraceptive measure, drug or chemical if the
    contraceptive measure, drug or chemical is
    administered before the time when a pregnancy could be
    determined through conventional medical testing and if
    the contraceptive measure, drug or chemical is sold,
    used, prescribed or administered in accordance with
    manufacturer instructions.

    4. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this
    section if a licensed physician provides medical treatment to a
    pregnant woman which results in the accidental or unintentional
    injury or death to the unborn child.


  • published Preparing for the end of Roe in Reproductive Justice 2022-04-05 10:50:42 -0400

    Preparing for the end of Roe

    "For many Americans, Roe already feels meaningless. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. counties lack a clinic that offers abortions." Read in the Atlantic

    Illegal abortions in the form of DIY kits. This is what the future of reproductive health looks like if we don't have the protections in place to provide safe methods for abortion.

    Join the DA GWC Reproductive Justice team: send an email to:

    [email protected]


  • THIS IS WHAT ILLEGAL ABORTION LOOKS LIKE

    IF WE DO NOTHING, WE WILL ALL HAVE TO RESORT TO USING THIS METHOD!

     

     

    Read this article from the Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/05/roe-v-wade-overturn-abortion-rights/629366/


  • published More (Bad) News in Reproductive Justice 2022-03-24 09:22:49 -0400

    More (Bad) News

    MORE (BAD)  NEWS

    See this video re a Kentucky anti-choice bill coming from a women doctor and Kentucky State senator:

    https://twitter.com/karenforky/status/1505243184263225356?s=20&t=DsWMoXLlFvN3DfqQA46DYQ


    Fight for our rights!!!


  • The anti-choice fire is spreading like wildfire

    PLEASE PAY ATTENTION

    The anti-choice fire is spreading like wildfire and women are going to die.

    Now it is Oklahoma.

    Here is a summary from the newsletter, the 19th:

    Oklahoma’s state House on Tuesday voted 78-19 to pass a near complete ban on abortions, legislation that far surpasses Texas’ six-week ban. The bill is now headed to the Senate and, if passed, will be the strictest anti-abortion bill in the country. 

    The legislation — known as House Bill 4327 — bars a physician from performing or inducing an abortion at any point in the pregnancy unless it is “to save the life” of the pregnant person. Similar to Texas’ six-week abortion ban, the new legislation would allow private citizens to pursue civil actions of up to $10,000 against anyone who performs or “aids and abets in the provision of such an abortion.” Lawmakers added an emergency clause for timing so that if the bill is signed into law, it would take effect immediately.

    “Abortion rights activists have been warning of this nightmare for months: These bounty hunter laws will have a domino effect across the country, as more and more states ban abortion entirely while Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land,” Elisabeth Smith, director of state policy and advocacy for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement

     

    See our video project to stop this insanity: American Women Need Your Help Now!

     


  • Partners for Reproductive Justice

    Dear Reproductive Freedom Fighters,

    The United Nations Commission the Status of Women has partnered with a great organization for Reproductive Freedom: Partners for Reproductive Justice who say

    “We believe in a world where every person has bodily autonomy and can determine their own future.”

    I encourage you to visit their super website here https://www.ipas.org/ourwork/

    We need to keep at it in the United States. Make a video for us to encourage voters to vote for reproductive freedom.


  • Maternal Deaths Rose During the First Year of the Pandemic, says the NYT

    Deaths during pregnancy and the first six weeks after childbirth increased, especially for Black and Hispanic women, according to a new report in the New York Times.

    The number of women in the United States who died during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth increased sharply during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study, an increase that health officials attribute partly to Covid and pandemic-related disruptions.

    The new report, from the National Center for Health Statistics, found that the number of maternal deaths rose 14 percent, to 861 in 2020 from 754 in 2019.

    This catastrophe is the result of the state laws exterminating our right to reproductive freedom and good medical treatment during pregnancy

    The Senate must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. It is coming to a vote on February 28th. Call your Senator and make sure he or she knows how important this is to all women but particularly poor and minority women.


  • published American Women Need Your Help Now! in Events 2022-02-18 10:17:15 -0500

    American Women Need Your Help Now!

     

    The GWC Reproductive Justice Team is launching a project to promote voter registration under the theme Reproductive Justice for ALL.

    As you certainly know, the rights of all women to choose when and if to start a family are being taken away with over 26 States prohibiting or restricting the right to abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy even in the cases of rape, incest and the mother’s and/or the  fetus’ health. Texas has empowered vigilantes to sue everyone and anyone aiding and abetting abortion once the fetal heartbeat can be heard (eg at approximately 6 weeks and before most women know they are pregnant).

    We cannot allow this to continue particularly with Roe v Wade in peril and the Women’s Health Protection Act stuck in the Senate.

    Our project is a video launch via YouTube. We are asking all DA members to make a short (60 sec) video explaining why the right to abortion is absolutely necessary. If you come from a State where it is practically impossible to obtain an abortion, you can speak about the discrimination against minority and poor women whose lives are in jeopardy and who cannot travel. If you come from “good States” such as MA, CA, NY for example, you can speak to the injustice of access depending upon where you live. Make sure you mention in the video VotefromAbroad.org for expat voter registration and vote.gov for non expat voter registration.

    We believe that many of our voters will be motivated to register when we roll out the videos.

    Here are a few subjects that you could choose for your video:

    • If you live/vote in a country that has “good” reproductive freedom laws, you could refer to the country and the liberal law(s) and how lucky you are to be in that country and how unfair it is for American women LIVING IN THE US who can’t benefit from such laws
    • If you live/vote in a US State that has good reproductive freedom laws, see above. And you can say that living in a “bad” State is  discriminatory since women in “good “US States have rights that you are denied.
    • You can share a personal experience. You don’t have to use your name or even mention where you live. The videos will be anonymous unless you do give details.
    • You can make a statement about women should have the right to control their bodies. Period. There is no justification for the government to decide when, how  or even if women should have children.

    If you can’t think of anything to say but still want to make a video, feel free to contact Salli at [email protected]. She will set up a call and walk you through some ideas and we can help you make the video.

    Here is a link on how to make a video:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O7wGPrZmmXocOuMI5zZutc1w62nHlQWZOat8Srq_bFQ/edit?usp=sharing

    For more information, visit our blog space here:

    https://www.democratsabroad.org/wc_reproductive_justice_action_team

    All videos should be sent to Salli Swartz at [email protected]

    THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN


    Disclaimer: By submitting your video, you grant to Democrats Abroad a nonexclusive rights to use your video and your image only for the 2022 GWC Reproductive Justice Get Out the Vote video project. 

    You therefore hereby waive all rights to any claims arising out of or in connection with Democrats Abroad GWC’s use of your video  and image in connection with the 2022 Reproductive Justice video project.


     

    WHEN
    May 18, 2022 at 3:00am - August 16, 2022 at 3:00am
    WHERE
    Video launch via YouTube
    rsvp

  • Protecting and Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

    Reproductive Rights - See what is happening all over the world and how the United States is punishing its women.

    A new report by the Center for Reproductive Rights analyzes the legal influence of six landmark cases before international and regional human rights bodies that have established lasting legal protections for reproductive autonomy—not only in the countries where the decisions were rendered, but across borders and regions. Read more...

    Join the Democrats Abroad Global Women’s Caucus Reproductive Rights Action Team at https://www.democratsabroad.org/wc_reproductive_justice_action_team

     


  • Happy New Year to all of our women warriors!

    May 2022 bring us women’s health guarantees including contraception and abortions for all who want them.

    The Reproductive Justice Action Team is continuing to have monthly webex meetings to discuss the dire state of anti-choice legislation and the SCOTUS Mississippi case.

    The situation is going from bad to worse as the States are gearing up “trigger” laws that will go into effect automatically and which will make abortion of any kind whenever, if the Supreme Court overrules Roe v Wade.

    And the Women’s Health Protection Act which, if passed, would make abortion legal with some restrictions is stuck in the Senate with no real visibility of when a vote will take place.

    So, taking all of that into account, we have decided to try to make a video aimed at voters in States where we need people to register and vote to change the legislative landscape on anti-choice.

    We are looking for volunteers who can do a short 60 second video, explaining why they feel it is imperative that women have the right to decide. Below you will find the links to volunteer and a link on how to make a video.

    The more the merrier. Our wonderful Angela Fobbs is going to help us edit the videos and make the clips into a YouTube worthy film. The more videos we get the more we can saturate the media in the States that will make a difference.

    So please volunteer and be in touch.

    Here is the form  to fill out if you want to make a video: https://forms.gle/z4msJHR36fA7HTsv5

    Here are the instructions on how to make the video: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O7wGPrZmmXocOuMI5zZutc1w62nHlQWZOat8Srq_bFQ/edit?usp=sharing

    You can also join  our next call. All you have to do is send us an email at [email protected] and we will get you the call in info.

    We really want to make this a ballbuster video…to get people motivated to register to vote and then VOTE the bastards out of office.

     

    Stay optimistic and safe

    Salli, Chair of the GWC Reproductive Justice Action Team


  • published GWC Mobilized in Reproductive Justice 2021-10-06 11:52:36 -0400

    GWC Mobilized

    The DA Global Women’s Caucus mobilized for reproductive justice and freedom on October 2nd

    along with thousands of women worldwide.

    Don’t let the Supreme Court overturn Roe. We must fight for our rights!!


  • published We will never give up in Reproductive Justice 2021-10-06 04:36:01 -0400

    We will never give up

    The October 2nd Reproductive Freedom marches were a huge success.

    These are two great articles from Ms Magazine with pictures from the Marches (to which we have added our own UK WC pictures)

    https://msmagazine.com/2021/10/04/signs-womens-march-texas-abortion-ban-roe-v-wade-reproductive-rights/?omhide=true&em

    And read about the powerful Congressional testimony here:

    https://msmagazine.com/2021/10/01/ten-powerful-moments-from-this-weeks-unprecedented-congressional-hearings-on-abortion/?omhide=true&emci=b7ff2248-5825-ec11-981f-501ac510a405&emdi=4621036e-5e25-ec11-981f-501ac510a405&ceid=930232


  • published WHPA Week Activist Kit in Reproductive Justice 2021-09-11 06:33:50 -0400

    WHPA Week Activist Kit

    GWC WHPA Week

     

    Activist Kit      

    September 13th-20th 

    WHPA Week

    The dual assault from the Texas State legislature and the Supreme Court on women’s rights, our physical and mental health, and bodily autonomy cannot go unanswered. We must contest SB 8 which prohibites abortion after 6 weeks, before most women know they are pregnant. The Supreme Court’s refusal to block this law signals that we can no longer depend on the Supreme Court or any courts to protect our rights. 

    The only way to protect our reproductive rights is to ensure that the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) of 2021 is enacted as law. It comes up for a vote in the House on September 20th. We must put pressure on our Congressional representatives to vote YES on WHPA! Therefore, the GWC is kicking off WHPA Week campaign today! 

    Calls to Action 

    We are asking Democrats Abroad to do two things:

    1. Call and/or email your reps the week of September 13th-20th
    2. Participate in a Tweet storm on September 20th at 9am EST/2pm BST

    Materials

    1. Call Script: I am an American residing abroad and a voting constituent from [your state]. I am calling on [NAME OF MEMBER] to vote in favor of the Women’s Health Protection Act. This Act is vital as it will protect women and their reproductive health. It will legalize, on a Federal level, abortion as essential to women’s healthcare. Passing WHPA will effectively overrule all of the heinous anti-choice State laws and any negative SCOTUS ruling on Roe v Wade. Because we have a majority of Supreme Court justices who reportedly do not support a women’s right to have an abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, it important to act now. Without that essential protection we will continue to see a stripping of access to abortion and reproductive health care in Republican-controlled states.  [NAME OF MEMBER] has the power to continue to create progress in our country for ALL. Be on the right side of history.  

    (If your Representative has cosponsored WHPA, you can also thank the office for their support of this legislation.)

    • Twitter Message: Please tweet storm in solidarity with the GWC on September 20th at 9am EST/2pm BST using the following messages, hashtags and graphics. Tag your representatives to get their attention.
    • Our civil liberties and reproductive rights continue to be threatened every day. Get your #BansOffOurBodies. Pass the #WHPA now. #ActForAbortionAccess, vote yes and protect #RoevWade! #defendabortion
    • Each day that the #WomensHealthProtectionAct is not passed, people seeking abortion care are losing their constitutional rights as established by Roe v Wade all over the U.S. We must urge our Congress to take action now and pass #WHPA. #BansOffOurBodies
    • Dear [@Senator or Representative’s Social Media Handle], listen to your voters and pass the #WomensHealthProtectionAct!  

    Follow the Global Women’s Caucus for more WHPA Week content:                                

        


  • SCOPE AND CONTENT OF THE TEXAS ANTI ABORTION LAW

    HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SCOPE AND CONTENT OF THE TEXAS ANTI ABORTION LAW?

    Go here and get some answers!


    And join our fights: send an email to [email protected]


  • published Why WHPA? Why Now? in Reproductive Justice 2021-09-08 06:19:26 -0400

    Why WHPA? Why Now?

    What can we do to stop the anti-choice legislation which is getting worse and worse?

    We can assure that the Women’s Health Protection Act is enacted.

    Nancy Pelosi is bringing it to a vote on Sept 20th in the House and we need your help to call your reps in the House to assure its passage.

    Here is the link to the House Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

    For more information see https://actforwomen.org/the-womens-health-protection-act/

    And here is a webinar for more detailed analysis:

    Why WHPA? Why Now?

    Tuesday, Sept. 14

    8pm EST

    RSVP HERE

    Join us for a deeper dive into what is the Women's Health Protection Act and how it will help us safeguard the right to abortion by preventing heinous bills like Texas's SB-8 from becoming law. Note: There will be information shared about Texas's SB-8

    We need all the help we can get and now is the time to ACT


  • published The FACE Act in Reproductive Justice 2021-09-08 06:18:43 -0400

    The FACE Act

    Does this mean some hope? Will it change anything in Texas? Unlikely. But the Women’s Health Protection Act could reverse all of his nasty State legislation.

    Call your reps to urge them to vote yes on September 20th when Pelosi is bringing it to a vote in the House.

    Statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Regarding Texas SB8

    The U.S. Department of Justice today issued the following statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland regarding Texas SB8: 

    “While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion, we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act, 18 U.S.C. § 248.

    “The FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services. It also prohibits intentional property damage of a facility providing reproductive health services. The department has consistently obtained criminal and civil remedies for violations of the FACE Act since it was signed into law in 1994, and it will continue to do so now.

    “The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack. We have reached out to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities. 

    “We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the FACE Act.”


  • Fight Reproductive Justice Disinformation

    Anti-choice advocates are notorious for spreading disinformation designed to stigmatize and restrict access to abortion. In general, audiences should be wary of anti-choice activists using anecdotal, rather than scientific, evidence to support their claims. It’s also important to take their so-called scientific arguments with a grain of salt. If an argument sounds counterintuitive or wildly exaggerated, it’s probably not true. Read more to find out how to fight reproductive justice disinformation.


  • REPRESSION OF VOTING RIGHTS LINKED TO ANTI CHOICERS
    Article in Ms Magazine

    In the first four months of 2021, Republican lawmakers introduced over 360 bills to restrict voting rights and 536 bills to restrict abortion rights. (READ MORE).


  • Medical Abortions: We need FDA Approval

    From Ms Magazine

     Last month, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would undertake a review of longstanding restrictions on the medication mifepristone used for miscarriage and abortion care. The announcement followed an FDA decision in April to lift in-person dispensing requirements on mifepristone for the duration of the pandemic.

    While many advocates celebrated these long-awaited and hard-fought-for achievements, others cautioned that lifting the FDA restrictions would not guarantee telemedicine abortion access for people in many states.

    The reason is that 19 states require the clinician providing a medication abortion to be physically present when the medication is administered, thereby prohibiting the use of telemedicine to prescribe medication for abortion remotely. Even if the FDA restrictions were to be lifted, these state-level bans would still block telemedicine access to medication abortion in these states. 

    However, lifting federal restrictions on mifepristone is a key step toward challenging state telemedicine abortion bans. The FDA approved mifepristone for use in the U.S. in 2000, but due to intense anti-abortion pressure, the agency tightly restricted the medication under a drug safety program now called the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy or REMS.

    Help support our struggle for legalizing abortion across the USA

    Join us at a special webinar to discuss the status of abortion in the United States with NARAL on July 9 at 11 am EST/17h CET. Register here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88433625688

    And join the Reproductive Justice Action Team: send Salli Swartz an email at [email protected]


  • Support Women's Health Protection Act

    ATTENTION ALL WOMEN: YOU CAN SUPPORT REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE BY SUPPORTING THE WOMEN’S HEALTH PROTECTION ACT-

    READ BELOW AND SIGN ON!!

    The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) has been introduced in the Senate (as Bill S.1975) and the House (as Bill H.R. 3755). The WHPA’s purpose is to promote access to abortion and to permit health care professionals to provide abortion services without restrictions that single out abortion as compared to other medical procedures that are similar in terms of risk and complexity. Specifically, the WHPA protects the right to an abortion before fetal viability for any reason, and the right to an abortion after fetal viability if continuing the pregnancy would pose a risk to the patient’s life or health (as judged by the treating health care provider). The WHPA also prohibits a number of requirements and limitations that interfere with the provision of abortion services, such as:

    • a requirement to perform medically unnecessary tests or procedures, or provide medically inaccurate information
    • a limitation on prescribing or dispensing drugs (other than limitations generally applicable to the medical profession)
    • a requirement about the infrastructure, equipment, or staffing of a facility providing abortion services that is not imposed on facilities providing medically comparable services
    • a requirement for medically unnecessary in-person visits before the abortion
    • a requirement that the patient disclose why she is seeking the abortion
    • other requirements that single out abortion services – or the health care professionals who provide them – and impede access to those services.

    The Findings and Purpose section of the WHPA explains how access to reproductive health care “has always been deficient in the United States for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color,” and also how “abortion-specific restrictions are a tool of gender oppression.”

    In 2021 we have seen states introduce huge numbers of anti-choice bills, many containing exactly the type of restrictions listed above. With this surge of anti-choice state legislation, as well as the upcoming Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it is more important than ever to have the right to abortion protected in a federal statute

    Supporting the WHPA is consistent with this portion of the Democrats Abroad 2020 Platform: “Democrats Abroad is committed to protecting and advancing sexual and reproductive-health rights and justice in the United States. We believe unequivocally that every human being living in the United States should have access to quality, affordable sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including…safe and legal abortions…” 

     

    Bill status (as of June 20, 2021):

    Senate: The bill has 47 cosponsors and is currently in committee (Committee on the Judiciary)

    House: The bill has 182 cosponsors and is currently in committee (Committee on Energy and Commerce)

     

    HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP 

    Contact your senators and representative: 

    Find the contact information for your senators here and for your representative here. Suggested text for what to write is below, but please personalize your message!

    Dear ____,

    I am writing to urge you to support [if to Senator: Bill S. 1975] [if to Representative: Bill H.R. 3755], the Women’s Health Protection Act. Our right to abortion services, and the ability of health care professionals to provide these vital services, is under attack from all angles. The Act would ensure that states cannot ban pre-viability abortions or impose medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion services.

    I believe that every person should have access to reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. I agree wholeheartedly with the Act’s remark that access to abortion, which is essential health care, is “central to people’s ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the United States.” It is crucial that we have a federal law protecting this right against anti-choice efforts at the state level.

    Thank you for your attention to this important health care issue.


International business lawyer practicing in France since 1979 specialied in international transactions and arbitration. Pro bono work in East and West Africa advising Governments on the negotiation of long term natural resource contracts, women's rights a